LG Chem investing $ 3 billion for cathode manufacturing facility in US
This will be the largest of its kind in the United States, covering 420 acres with a production target of 120,000 tons of cathode material annually by 2027 to power batteries in 1.2 million pure electric vehicles with a range of 310 miles (500 km) per charge, according to the Korean company.
Construction of the Tennessee plant is expected to begin in the first quarter of 2023, with mass production to start in the second half of 2025. It will play a critical role in LG Chem's strategy to increase its battery materials business, including cathode material, fourfold from KRW 5 trillion in 2022 to KRW 20 trillion by 2027.
"The new cathode manufacturing facility in Tennessee brings us one step closer to becoming the world's best battery materials manufacturer and fulfilling our corporate vision to become a top global science company," said CEO Shin of LG Chem. "This site will be the North American manufacturing center of excellence for the cathode supply chain and lead to the creation of many well-paying jobs, contributing to the local economy in Clarksville."
The company has said that the new facility will produce advanced NCMA cathode materials containing nickel, cobalt, manganese and aluminum for next-gen EV batteries. NCMA cathode materials are among the most critical ingredients for determining the battery capacity and life of electric vehicles.
The Tennessee plant will feature LG Chem's most advanced production technology, including the ability to produce more than 10,000 tons of cathode material per line, it added. LG Chem has applied this technology for the first time to its fourth cathode manufacturing site in Cheongju, South Korea with much success.
The company also plans to implement its smart factory technology in Tennessee to automate the entire production process, and establish a quality analysis and control system that will be the benchmark for all other cathode plants in the world.